Writer: Roxanne K. Tarapor ~
Another on-trend topic comes your way, but this one has made me question its demand – why do people want to look like a million bucks? It’s well established that having a higher purpose, (whether that comes from a spiritual or material place), healthy relationships and good health are builders of mental growth and success, so why the image obsession?
Being particular about your appearance should not be confused with vanity. Looking sharp comes from a place of inspiration and routine, your style and how you treat your clothes has a lot to do with it, not your bank account. You may feel restricted by your current budget and think that your wardrobe is not cutting it, you can look sharp and still have money for the more important things. Tell us in the comment what drives you to look a certain way. (:
First of, know what you own and only keep the things that add value to you. There is no point storing clothes you haven’t worn in more than 2-3 years (unless you love them). The Konmari method of tidying up is a great way to declutter your wardrobe so if you want to do this seriously, I suggest you start there. There are plenty of videos on Youtube that will guide you on how to go about this.
Now that you only own clothes that make you feel like a rockstar – confidence, coordination and a little bit of effort will take you ahead. Confidence is our inner peace and happiness coming to the surface and clothes can definitely have that effect; when it comes to coordination, spend some time in front of the mirror before leaving the house (with your handbag and shoes) and see if everything works together. I’m guilty of not doing this often enough and I won’t fail to tell myself about it later.
I’ve compiled a list of how best to achieve a good look on a budget:
Your shopping checklist:
- The clothes fit: everything you buy must fit impeccable, especially trousers. There is that one off occasion during Sales when you have no choice but to compromise, but get it altered to your size. Unless you’re doing it to make a style statement, wearing clothes your own size will always make you look put together.
- There are no holes or tears or bits missing: when this happens, your clothes can look drab and old even though they aren’t. Take some time at the mall and make sure you’re walking away with quality stuff, especially during Sales cause you can’t return the pieces.
- Solids over prints: pick out more plain pieces than patterned, (unintentional tongue twist) you will get more wear out of them throughout the year. When it comes to colours, wear black (stain proof), white, or jewel-toned colours like – ruby red, emerald green etc.
- There is always a cheaper alternative: you definitely don’t need to be spending thousands on designer clothing, there are plenty designer-inspired clothes from fast fashion stores. However, if you’re like me and fast fashion makes you feel uneasy, then go to thrift stores, vintage stores or other non-fast-fashion stores.
- Small designer goods go a long way: you can make a simple black beachy dress luxe by adding a designer belt or scarf to it, these items are usually far more affordable and long-lasting. A tip when buying these pieces are – don’t let the brand name be super prominent as this often makes the outfit appear cheap.
- Material is key: – thick material feels more expensive. This is one of the top dangers of online shopping, and there’s nothing worse than landing up with scratchy fabric (why does it still exist?) cotton, linen, georgette, silk are welcome.
How to make your clothes pop:
- Clean: keep your clothing, shoes and other wearable clean for the next use. Get rid of tough stains ASAP so that they don’t linger in which case you will have to replace the item.
- Like-new condition: replace worn out buttons or other beads etc. so your clothes always look new. Clean your shoes regularly and store them in bags. Clean shoes are more striking than we give it credit.
- Maintenance: by doing the above two points you’ll be contributing towards maintaining your clothes. These habits will help you through your life and save you considerable amounts of money. Check out our How to take care of your formals for tips on the subject.
- DIY: why pay for statement pieces when you can DIY your own? You can cut out pretty patches from old clothing (for instance, old Indian clothes) and sew them onto pain tops, Iron on patches on your denim jacket or do your unique artwork on a t-shirt, you will get a one of a kind piece plus you’ll breathe life into your old garments.
- Grooming: manicures and pedicures should be done bi-weekly, at home versions are just as good, as long as you’re through. Wax, thread or shave as per your preferences, these services are usually cheap in India so a little can go a long way in this case.
- Minimal Makeup: go for nude lips and Kajal or liner – buy good drugstore makeup and opt for neutral nails. Our beauty in multiple ways post will give you tips on how to use the same product for multiple functions, which will save you some cash. Add highlighter or bronzer to your lotion and apply to your body to make you look more toned & glowy.
- Posture: good posture will help you through the ages, and will contribute to you looking on point. One tip on how to keep your back straight is – hyperextend your shoulders upwards, then hyperextend backward and finally put it down normally.
- keep your jewellery simple, real or plated (put clear nail polish on plated jewellery to preserve it, wipe/polish it with a dry cloth after use) semi-precious stones like zircon and rose quartz are beautiful alternatives for more expensive gems. Silver jewellery has many positive benefits including balancing the elements in your body, pain relief, cold and flu prevention etc.
With these simple tips we bet you’ll look sharp as ever. One last thing before we bid adieu, you can make any outfit look a million bucks with confidence and a smile!